Turtle, Ecuador

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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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  • Reviewed June 2019
    Brian Bullingham

    Primates and Dragons May 2019

    A well organised trip. The chief guide was excellent as were all the additional guides. The accommodation was first class with a variety from Eco Lodges to top hotels. The tour was arranged to see the maximum sights during the 3 week period - but at times there seemed too many options and a slower pace would have improved the trip. Of necessity there were lots of internal flights that had to be endured! As a group we all mixed in -we varied from 3 couples and 6 singles but all meals etc. went well. An enjoyable trip that ticked all the photo opportunities with a blend of local culture for interest.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most hilarious moment was during our watch of the Orang-utangs when another visitor had left his back-pack open and this was spotted by a sharp-eyed male who shot down from his tree, snatched a crisp -packet from the bag and shot up another tree where he ripped open the packet and starting eating the crisps - never underestimate the intelligence of a primate!! My other memory is of the traffic and the number of mopeds all overtaking cars and lorries with abandon and with no overt action from the car,etc. being overtaken - a lesson in politeness for Westerners!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elly our group leader was very efficient and got us in a group to the right place at the right time - no mean feat considering all the different ways of travel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a poncho as it can rain heavily.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Marjorie Booth

    Way in excess of our expectations

    We were 2 sisters travelling together for the holiday of a lifetime. We knew it was going to be amazing but this trip blew us away. It is impossible to criticise any part of it. Our highlights include: the stunning beauty of the rice fields and the historical ingenuity of the Balinese people. The Flora was breathtaking. The walks were all different in character taking us through rain forests, jungles, paddy fields, cascading waterfalls - not to mention a climb up mount Batir to see the sunrise. A truly magical experience. An added joy was swimming off a beautiful white sandy beach - the most eastern point in Bali The hospitality and warmth we received from everyone was fabulous. The level of accommodation far exceeded our expectations. The hotels were very varied and traditional which added to the overall experience. We just must give a special mention to Wira our guide. Exodus is truly lucky to have him representing their company. He is a genuinely lovely guy who helped make out holiday perfect.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is a difficult question as the whole holiday was inspirational. Having the opportunity to attend two private blessings in the Temple was incredibly moving

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As mentioned above - excellent in every way. We will always remember Wira

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you hear that Bali has been spoilt this is only true in part. Off the beaten track where Exodus took us is magical

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Enjoy your trip
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Phyllis Ryan

    An Excellent trip, in every way

    From the moment we set foot in Bali, I had the most wonderful time. We were a party of eight, six women and two men, and we all got on very well together. Our guide was Wira, and from the start he was so friendly and helpful. The walks were varied and very interesting. I particularly enjoyed the Mt. Batur 3-crater summit. It was a little scary, but exhilarating. We were rewarded afterwards with a dip in the local hot springs......wonderful!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Mt. Batur, and walking around the rim. Also, climbing the 1700 steps to Lempuyang Temple, and having the privilege to attend a blessing by the local priest. This was the second Hindu blessing we had on the trek.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wira, our group leader was the perfect choice for us. He was friendly, helpful, and full of fun. If any of us found something difficult, he was there to help.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of the fact that, although this trek is not at high altitude, there are a couple of challenging climbs.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Thalia Milton

    Physical beauty at its best.

    The majority of this trip is thankfully off the main tourist trail. The trekking included walking along the top of narrow concrete walls, which held back the water for the irrigation of the rice fields; scrambling up and down muddy paths between rice fields; walking through forest; crossing bamboo bridges; plenty of steps both up and down at various temples; climbing up Mount Batur in the dark with head torches and then walking around the caldera. The accommodation was of a good standard and most of the hotels had a pool for a relaxing swim at the end of the day. The food was excellent, with delicious lunches provided and good choices of restaurants for the evening meal. The physical beauty of Bali is stunning and coupled with the attention to the daily offerings at the numerous temples and shrines, it is a truly magical place to visit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was different and provided a different challenge- I was inspired by all of it particularly the physical beauty of the rice terraces.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wira was a star and was not only our leader, but an integral part of the group. He imparted his extensive knowledge with enthusiasm and genuine interest. Whilst trekking Wira was always available to help if anyone was struggling with the terrain as well as insuring the local guide was assisting also. He constantly checked that we were all okay when arriving at our accommodation and at meal times. We were invited to Wira’s family home for lunch one day, which was a particularly special occasion. When on a walking / trekking trip the leader is always more involved with a group due to the nature of the trip, but Wira appeared to go one step further - our ‘good-byes’ were to a friend who had looked after us and supported us for two weeks!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for wet feet! I wore sandles most days which had toe protection. This meant wet feet were not a problem and I could rinse my feet at intervals in the copious amounts of water flowing above and between the rice fields. It can be very hot and humid so shorts and tops which can be easily washed and are quick drying can be useful. There are mosquitos day and night, so plenty of protection is sensible, although the little blighters always seem to mange a bite here and there! Swimware is a must since there are many opportunities to swim or just cool off. Walking poles were useful at times, but they tend to be a personal choice. Ear plugs can stave off barking dogs, noisy cockerels and of course any snoring! Bring an open mind and lots of enthusiasm, be prepared to slip and slide, be amazed and enjoy whatever is thrown at you! It’s a great trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go whilst the countryside is still unspoilt by tourism. Whilst trekking we saw very few other tourists - bliss!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Fred Thurbin

    Through Bali on the road less travelled

    Before the trip is heard from three friends who'd been to Bali. The beeches are poor, was one piece of advice. Well I wasn't going for a beech holiday so that didn't bother me. Visit the temple in the sea. A quick look at the trip notes and yes, tanah lot was in the itinerary. I was looking forward to that. It's too westernised. This feedback worried me. I'd been to Vietnam the previous year and struggled with westernisation there. Corporations and globalisation is turning to much of the planet same-ie As Douglas Adams once wrote, "the past is truly a foreign land, they do things exactly the same there." Call me crazy but I like the idea of people living off the land and going to a restaurant and having the menu dictated by the seasons not demand. Well the parts of Bali we visited were untouched gems. The views were stunning, the people curious and friendly, the food amazing and fresh and the hotels... well stunning. Very unintrusive, at times it felt like you could have been staying in someones home. Not because they were simple, many had all the eminities, but because there wasn't a hotel block to be seen, the all nestled into the countryside organically. Every day I felt like I was in Bali, every hotel and restaurant felt native and the island and people are wonderful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being invited by the locals into their rituals and preys. It was so relaxed and inviting and open. They had ways to sit for preys but we were told the religion is practical and if you can't sit like it's suggested then do what's natural. It was so friendly
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Mojgan N.A.

    Beautiful trip

    I really enjoyed this trip. Wira (our guide) and the support team worked very hard and ensured it all went smoothly. I had little knowledge about Indonesia and I feel that this trip has opened a new world to me. I learned a lot about the culture, history and customs of this beautiful country and Wira contributed a lot to this. Bali is covered with temples and statues and for me it felt like an open museum. Another interesting point that caught my eyes were the architecture of the mosques in East Java. It has influences of temples and shows that the two cultures have been integrated which was very interesting to see. Everywhere we went people were very friendly and smiling and greeting us. There were some tough rides, a few nasty uphills, some very steep and rough downhills and off roads which made this trip even more interesting. Wira explained the detail of the route and what to look out for which was very helpful. The hiking up the Ijen volcano and watching how the sulphur miners work was the highlight of the trip for me. The other activities such as hot spring, snorkelling and swimming (pool and the sea) were all very enjoyable. Most hotels had a swimming pool so swimming after a hard cycling day under a hot humid condition felt like heaven! :)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the Ijen volcano. The landscape was beautiful and the view of the lake from the top was simply stunning. Seeing the sulphur mine workers carrying such heavy loads on their shoulders up that steep route was simply an eye opener. Riding on the old lava field (very rough off-road) was quite amazing too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wira was an excellent leader. He was always calm, friendly and carried a beautiful smile. He was very knowledgeable and explained to us about people/farmer's lifestyle and customs. Every day he explained to us how the route would be in terms of points of interests as well as the challenging parts. The support teams also contributed to the success of the trip. They were very helpful and every little detail was taken care of, eg every time we had a break, they would fill up our water bottles without us even noticing it which was a nice touch.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you do your homework ie training! :) There are some tough uphills as well as very steep downhills with sharp corners and also some quite rough off-roads.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Rebecca Fawcett

    Amazing wildlife

    A fantastic holiday, you see and do a lot including the two main highlights of the trip (Orangutans & Komodo Dragons) in a beautiful country. The trip is very well organised so it's not too hectic or tiring but full of great experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Orangutans. There was a moment when a baby was one tree away from it's mother and the mother reached her hand out for the baby to take before helping her swing into the other tree. It was such a human-like moment between a mother and child, wonderful to spend time with such a beautiful species.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elly was brilliant, every things she did was to ensure we enjoyed the trip and made fantastic memories. She kept an eye on us all when snorkelling, ensured we had the best photo opportunities and gave us ointments to put on sunburn when needed!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a t-shirt / rash vest for snorkelling, the sun is incredibly strong and it's very easy to get burnt.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Isabella Campbell Harry

    A wonderful guide and very well organised trip

    The trip was very well organised and the local guides were incredible. Although the trip is only 2 weeks long we were able to pack a huge amount and sample the diversity of Indonesia, with some level of flexibility. From the Orangutans in the North to the Komodo dragons and Manta rays in the south. This trip has it all and so much more. It was amazing to respectively see these creatures in the wild. Elly, our guide, is filled with so much joy and enthusiasm. It was lovely that although she has done this trip many times, she is filled with just as much awe as us tourists at Indonesia's natural world. We could have perhaps done with a little less time in Bali but other than that I have no complaints! I hope one day I will be back and be able to visit the local people I can now proudly call friends.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming with the manta rays was extraordinary.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Rita Jones

    Amazing adventures

    This trip packs in so much. Close encounters with orangutans, Komodo dragons and an amazing amount of marine life on the best coral we have ever seen. All the hotels used were lovely with nice pools to relax by. Our guide Elly was lovely and local guides on trips couldn't have been nicer. Wonderful food including an amazing jungle picnic. Really felt well looked after on this trip. Wish I could go back right now!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to select one....there were so many! Being so close to a huge but very placid male orangutan and his family. Especially when he stood up and wanderered about on two legs so close to us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was lovely. Very caring to the whole group

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Volunteer to sleep on the deck of the boat. Cabins are a bit stuffy in the heat. Take your own towels on board. Jungle treck needs a reasonable level of fitness but you can go as slow as you want. Plenty of guides around to help.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On Summatra we had a lovely village walk including time spent talking to the schoolchildren. It would have been nice if we could have helped the local environment as we walked round e.g a voluntary litter collection .
  • Reviewed November 2018
    simon cappin

    what an amazing trip

    This was an exceptional trip. Our guide Elly was very caring, had a great sense of humour,was incredibly well organised and ensured everything went smoothly.The itinerary was extremely varied but the pace of the trip was not too frenetic. The hotels were all very comfortable with lots of character.Seeing orang utans in the wild was a real highlight( saw 6 in total) in the jungles of Sumatra. What I particularly enjoyed was snorkelling in the seas off Rinca and Komodo.Whilst I primarily booked the trip to see the Komodo dragons the quality of the coral and abundance and variety of fish was magical.I have snorkelled and dived all over the world and this is the best I have ever seen.Swimming with 10 Manta rays was absolutely incredible.I would definitely recommend this trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming with manta rays

    What did you think of your group leader?

    excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have suitable sun protection for snorkelling .Buy an underwater camera

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend extending your trip to include Mt Bromo and Borobudur in Java and booking the rafting trips in Bali.
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